Relevant anatomy in aberrant electric conductivity in the equine heart

PhD research: Lara Ibrahim

Selective breeding for athletic performance has made the horse one of the greatest mammalian athletes. However, horses are susceptible to cardiac arrhythmias, which may carry a risk for horse and rider.

Whilst the anatomy and electrophysiology of the conductive system in the ventricular walls and interventricular septum has been investigated elaborately, the underlying fine anatomy enabling, favouring, diverting or blocking the atrial depolarisation pulses and trajectories, including the aberrant ones such as re-entry currents or ectopic pulses, still remain enigmatic.

Parallel to the research programme of Ingrid Vernemmen, one of the first objectives of this in-depth investigation is obtain more detailed anatomical and histological information of the equine right atrium and adjacent electrophysiologically relevant structures. Furthermore, the variations in the topography of important anatomical landmarks as well as the organisation of intramural histological structures will be charted.

Finally, the correlation between the anatomical features and the electrophysiological characteristics of pulse propagation in the (right) atrial wall will be investigated.

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